Try Our Apps


90s Slang You Should Know


[kuhs-tuh-mer] /ˈkʌs tə mər/
a person who purchases goods or services from another; buyer; patron.
Informal. a person one has to deal with:
a tough customer; a cool customer.
Origin of customer
late Middle English
1400-50; late Middle English; see custom, -er1; compare Middle English customer collector of customs < Anglo-French; Old French costumier, cognate with Medieval Latin custumārius; see customary Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for customer
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Jeff strode happily down the road, and he had cheated his customer in no way.

    Trading Jeff and his Dog James Arthur Kjelgaard
  • As I seated myself I saw a customer come up to the front bar.

    Up the River Oliver Optic
  • That afternoon young Darragh located Sard's office and presented himself as a customer.

    The Flaming Jewel Robert W. Chambers
  • Only maybe we better just charge it up to customer relations.

  • The customer is not half so interested in that as he is in himself.

British Dictionary definitions for customer


a person who buys
(informal) a person with whom one has dealings: a cool customer
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for customer

late 14c., "customs official;" later "buyer" (early 15c.), from Anglo-French custumer, from Medieval Latin custumarius, from Latin consuetudinarius (see custom (n.)). More generalized meaning "a person with whom one has dealings" emerged 1540s; that of "a person to deal with" (usually wth an adjective, tough, etc.) is by 1580s. In Shakespeare, the word also can mean "prostitute."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Slang definitions & phrases for customer



A person; cookie •The word has a tinge of disapproval: a tough customer/ She's a shrewd customer

[1580s+; perhaps an expansion of cuss]

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
Cite This Source
Idioms and Phrases with customer


The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for customer

Many English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for customer

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for customer